*1,2Ogwu, M. C., 1Osawaru, M. E. and 1Atsenokhai, E. I.

1Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of
Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
2Keimyung University, Center for International Education and Development, 1095
Dalgubeol – Daero, Daegu, South Korea
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT. Fruits and nuts are essential components of animal and human diets and desert. They represent diverse genetic resources in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In Nigeria, exotic fruits are more popular as indigenous ones are largely underutilized. This study examined the chemical components of five uncommon fruits: African oil bean [Pentaclathra macrophylla, Fabaceae], Bambara groundnut [Vigna subterranean, Fabaceae], African bush mango [Irvingia gabonensis, Irvingiaceae], African pear [Dacryodes edulis, Burseraceae] and Nigerian walnut [Tetracarpidium conophorum, Euphorbiaceae]. The fresh fruits/nuts were collected from parts of Edo State, Southern Nigeria. Results showed that alkaloid was present in fresh and cooked samples of walnut and pear, and only present in fresh samples of P. macrophylla and V. subterranean. Alkaloid was absent in both fresh and cooked I. gaborensis. The result of mineral composition of the samples suggests highest calcium, potassium and magnesium content was obtained in African pear and P. macrophylla for sodium, zinc and iron. Presence of ascorbic acid, thiamine, riboflavin and lactic acid was confirmed in all the fruits. The highest concentration of ascorbic acid, thiamine, riboflavin and lactic acid was obtained from I. gaborensis, V. subterranean, P. macrophylla and D. edulis respectively. The highest bacterial and fungal count in fresh samples was from Bambara groundnut and P. macrophylla respectively. This study has
implicated the relevance of these uncommon fruits and nuts. It is recommended therefore that their awareness should be improved in order to sustain their marketability and food use.

KEYWORDS. Tropical fruits and nuts, Underutilized fruits, Plant genetic resources, Vegetables, Phytochemicals, Nigeria


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